Mind and Mechanism

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Overview

In Mind and Mechanism, Drew McDermott takes a computational approach to the mind-body problem (how it is that a purely physical entity, the brain, can have experiences). He begins by demonstrating the falseness of dualist approaches, which separate the physical and mental realms. He then surveys what has been accomplished in artificial intelligence,clearly differentiating what we know how to build from what we can imagine building. McDermott then details a computational theory of consciousness claiming that the mind can be modeled entirely in terms of computation — and deals with various possible objections. He also discusses cultural consequences of the theory, including its impact on religion and ethics.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"The problem of explaining the functional basis of feeling is undoubtedly the hardest (some think insoluble) problem of cognitive science. Whether they succeed or fail, it is undeniable that the contributors to this volume are facing this problem head-on."—Stevan Harnad, ResearchChair of Canada, and Center for Cognitive Neurosciences, University of Quebec

"In this book, Drew McDermott, one of today's shrewdest thinkers on the role of computation in cognitive capacity, tackles the problem of meaning and consciousness."—StevanHarnad, Research Chair of Canada, and Center for Cognitive Neurosciences, University ofQuebec

Stevan Harnad
In this book, Drew McDermott, one of today's shrewdest thinkers on the role of computation in cognitive capacity, tackles the problem of meaning and consciousness.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262133920
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2001
  • Series: Bradford Books Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Drew V. McDermott is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of ComputerScience at Yale University.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 The Problem of Phenomenal Consciousness 1
2 Artificial Intelligence 29
3 A Computational Theory of Consciousness 93
4 Objections and Replies 137
5 Symbols and Semantics 167
6 Consequences 215
Notes 243
References 249
Index 259
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